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Mirabilis multiflora var. pubescens (Colorado four o'clock)
Reveal, James L.

Mirabilis multiflora var. pubescens

Mirabilis multiflora (Torr.) A. Gray var. pubescens S. Watson

Colorado Four O'Clock, Wishbone Plant

Nyctaginaceae (Four O'clock Family)

Synonym(s): Mirabilis froebelii, Mirabilis froebelii var. glabrata


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The stems of this perennial, sometimes woody at the base, are forked and reforked. The leaves are oval and the flowers are produced in large numbers from branch ends. The flower clusters are made up of cup-shaped, green bracts and large, deep rose "petals." After flowering, the stems eventually lose their leaves and go dormant by fall.

This plant attracts hummingbirds, hawk moths, and quail.


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Accessory
Size Notes: Up to about 28 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: Baja CA & AZ, n. to c. CA & NV
Native Habitat: Dry, stony desert areas

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, stony soils.
Conditions Comments: Long-lived and undemanding.


Description: Propagate by seed.
Seed Treatment: No treatment is necessary, but scarified or stratified seed may give better results.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Mirabilis multiflora var. pubescens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Mirabilis multiflora var. pubescens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Mirabilis multiflora var. pubescens


Record Modified: 2023-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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